While most uterine fibroids are noncancerous, it is clear that there is a risk associated in using power morcellation to perform myomectomies or hysterectomies. Recent news reports about the potential spread of cancer from removing fibroids using a power morcellator requires some clarification.
“We don’t use power morcellation in our practice for removal of fibroids or uteruses,” said Dr. Paul J. MacKoul, MD. “The controversy is there are patients out there with cancers in the uterus that are undetected who are getting power morcellation to remove the uterus or the fibroids, and it could potentially spread disease.”
Facts About Uterine Fibroids
- Fibroids are the most common growth in women. Eighty percent of ALL women have fibroids in their womb, with 12 to 25% having problems from fibroids such as heavy bleeding and pain.
- Uterine fibroids (leiomyomas) are noncancerous growths of the uterus. that often appear during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids aren’t associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer.
- Fibroid growth is unpredictable. They may grow slowly or rapidly, or they may remain the same size. Some fibroids go through growth spurts, and some may shrink on their own.
- One in 1000 women may have a cancerous fibroid called a leiomyosarcoma. In other rare cases more aggressive cancers known as sarcomas may be undetected, and can exist simultaneously in the uterus with fibroids. The risk of using a power morcellator to remove fibroids in these cases is that the cancer cells can be disrupted and spread throughout the uterine cavity.
“We don’t use power morcellation because we have developed techniques that are far safer and faster,” said Dr. Natalya Danilyants. “When we talk to the patient, we explain to them exactly how the procedure will be done, and they can see for themselves that power morcellation isn’t necessary at all.”
Who Gets Fibroids
African American women have fibroids two to three times more than Caucasian or Hispanic women. Also, African American women have a much higher chance of fibroids growing larger and causing problems than in Caucasian women. African American women develop problems with fibroids at an earlier age, with the fibroids growing faster, becoming larger, and causing more bleeding and anemia than with women of other races.
Learn more about fibroids and treatment at The Center for Innovative GYN Care.
Book a consultation with Dr. Paul MacKoul or Dr. Natalya Danilyants.